The Top 10 Recipes of 2014

“For last year's words belong to last year's language; And next year's words await another voice.” 
~ T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

Another glorious year, with many happy and sad moments is coming to an end. I literally woke at 2 in the morning today to quickly scribble down all the things I want to do in the coming year. Let me list some main ones here (for accountability purposes): (A) To make reading a habit is definitely one of the resolutions of 2015. I finished three books - a good start already there. Isn't it? (B) On charts is also to resume the Project 365 challenge where I will be posting photo-a-day in 2015. Instagram is where all the action will happen. Do give a follow if you wish to follow my photo journey. (C) To make a new recipe each week and a blog post every Monday. To tackle this, I made a couple of recipes and photographed. All I have to do now is sit and polish things up.

Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, let's have a look on Top 10 Recipes of 2014, which garnered most attention in terms of hits, comments and media mentions. Enjoy!

[Eating Out in New York City # 1] Winterland Wonderland At Bryant Park

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” ~ James Beard (1903-1985)

As promised in my last post, here I am to spill the beans and to talk about my new home - New York City. The big move was quite unexpected and pleasantly surprising. Yes, it was always my dream to work in-the-city. Yes, I did imagine myself multiple times, walking through the beautiful alleys of NYC, gazing at the tall buildings. What I didn't expect is, how soon my wish came true. It has been four hectic weeks of still adjusting and trying to fit into this crazy yet exhilarating New York culture. 

Also, one other thing I did not expect is that the first post after my move would be about a a Vegan/Vegetarian Meetup, something I signed up mere few days ago. Click for more and scroll down for a visual experience of my visit to Winter Village at Bryant Park last night!

Welcome to the partyyy! 

[Recipe Redux] Spicy Egg Curry with Harissa Recipe

It has been more than a month since I posted a recipe on this blog. During this time, much has happened and changed. There is so much to say but I am finding it hard to articulate well. I just don't know where to start. Until I find a way to put the events in sequence and give them some meaning, let us talk about fond food memories. Shall we? Along with them is a recipe for Spicy Egg Curry made with Harissa. It is quick yet flavorful and not too overtly spicy. Serve with some rice and you are set with a hearty meal. No rice? Just have with some bread of any kind. Soak the chunks of bread with the onion-tomato sauce while scooping bits and pieces of browned, boiled egg in the middle. Best part, it takes less than half an hour to put it all together. Enjoy!

Black and White Wednesdays | Sunday Picnic

A LOT has changed since last few weeks and a month long break was necessary for many decisions to be made, life to settle and fall into a rhythm again. More on that in the next post, I promise. Meanwhile, here is a sneak peek into recipe coming up which is being sent to the special 150th edition of weekly photography event Black and White Wednesdays, originally conceptualized by Susan, this week guest hosted by Cindystar. Check out all the photographs I submitted until now to this lovely event.


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[VeganMoFo 2014 Recipe] Sprouted Moong Dal Chilla (Cheela) + Two Book Giveaways To Win: Hot Tea Across India and The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook

Once a week, I make today's dish (Sprouted Moong Dal Chilla) as our breakfast especially for that extra protein kick from the sprouted legumes. A simple chutney on the side and we are not hungry again till lunch; it is such a filling snack too! Also, today is the last day for the book giveaways I planned for 12 lucky readers of this blog. Time flew and still can't believe it is end of the week. There are two more books up for grabs today and scroll down to participate. I will randomly choose and announce the winners on 30th September morning. Two more days to leave a comment on the respective posts. Lady Luck might favor you. Enter today!

 Click here to access all 12 book giveaways on a SINGLE page. 

Last Date for Participation: September 29th 2014 midnight (IST)

Day 6: The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook and Hot Tea Across India

[VeganMoFo 2014 Recipe] Minapa Vadiyalu Pulusu | Black Gram Wadi Curry + Four Giveaways To Win: Rude Food; Gluten-Free, Sugar-free Cookbook; BongMom's Cookbook and Quick-fix Indian Book

Like many of you out there I am a HUGE lover (read as hoarder) of cookbooks and books based on food writing. I don't need any reason in particular to buy one. Sometimes it's the theme of the cookbook; sometimes the author; sometimes the reviews are so great that I can't stop myself from ordering a copy; sometimes it is as silly as the book cover. Whatever may be the reason, now I have a selection of books that I seldom use and book giveaways to few lucky readers was something I wanted to do since a long time. I handpicked 12 such books (4 of which are featured today) that I simply loved for each day of this week. Winners will be randomly picked and there are few more simple ways to increase your chances. Scroll down to the end of the post for more details on how to participate. Don't forget to check out (if you haven't already) on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 posts as well. All it takes is to leave a comment and we never know, you might be THE winner. Enter and try your luck! Click here to access all book giveaways on a SINGLE page.

Also, since it's VeganMoFo, a vegan friendly recipe is a must. Today, I made amma's favorite dish - a tangy curry with fried black gram (urad dal) wadis. On days when your tastebuds are craving for a different yet simple curry, try this. There is something really magical when fried wadis are dunked in onion-tomato-tamarind flavored stew. The wadis absorb all the juices and the result is truly wonderful. Rice is the best accompaniment and if are a non-vegan, don't forget to add a tsp of melted ghee on top. 

[VeganMoFo 2014] Under 15 minute Easy South Indian Coconut Chutney Recipe + Two Giveaways: Modern Spice by Monica Bhide and A Matter of Taste, a book on Indian writing on Food

If there is always one accompaniment while having breakfast at my mum's place, it is definitely this Under 15 minute Easy South Indian Coconut Chutney. I have been eating it with my idilis and dosas for as long as I remember and now I thought it is a perfect time to share the recipe with you all. All you need is fresh coconut and a handful of ingredients. Every south indian breakfast deserves a simple to make chutney as a side and after trying this version, I guarantee you will instantly fall in love, never to look back again! And while you are at it, don't forget to leave a comment on this post to mark your participation for the TWO book giveaways (Day 3) Scroll down for more details. If you haven't tried your luck already, do leave a comment on Day 1 and Day 2 giveaway blogposts as well. Good Luck! 

Day 3 | Two Books-A-Day Giveaways

[VeganMoFo 2014 | Quick and Easy Snacks] Peanut Chaat Recipe + Two Book Giveaways: The F-Word by Mita Kapur and The Best of Lord Krishna's Cuisine by Yamuna Devi

Today's recipe is a simple, tangy and fulfilling snack that is so versatile to add anything you fancy and forgiving enough when it comes to ingredient amounts - Peanut Chaat. Not just during monsoons, this can be enjoyed as an appetizer on a papad canape maybe? or as a healthy salad anytime and any season. And while you are at it, don't forget to leave a comment on this post to mark your participation for the TWO book giveaways (Day 2) Scroll down to the end for more details. If you haven't tried your luck already, do leave a comment in yesterday's post as well. Good Luck! Click here to access all book giveaways on a SINGLE page.

Day 2 | Two Books-A-Day Giveaways:

[VeganMoFo 2014] Mark Bittman's Crispy Noodle Cake Recipe + Two Book Giveaways: Best Food Writing 2011 | Vicky Goes Veg

Like many of you out there I am a HUGE lover (read as hoarder) of cookbooks and books based on food writing. I don't need any reason in particular to buy one. Sometimes it's the theme of the cookbook; sometimes the author; sometimes the reviews are so great that I can't stop myself from ordering a copy; sometimes it is as silly as the book cover. Whatever may be the reason, now I have a selection of books that I seldom use and book giveaways to few lucky readers was something I wanted to do since a long time. I handpicked 12 such books that I simply loved for each day of this week. Winners as usual will be randomly picked and there are few more simple ways to increase your chances. Scroll down at the end of the post for more details. 

Also, since it's VeganMoFo week, a vegan friendly recipe is a must. Today, I made Mark Bittman's Crispy Noodle Cake Recipe. It makes a fantastic side dish, snack, or base for a stir-fry, where it soaks up all of the savory juices. You don’t need much else to call this a meal, though a beer alongside wouldn’t hurt.

Mark Bittman Crispy Noodle Cake

[VeganMoFo 2014] Lemon Rice | Nimmakaya Pulihora Recipe

My first memory of my grandmother's cooking is - how she made a simple, yet flavorful lemon flavored rice one night out of just a bowl of stale rice. Things were scarce, times not-so-luxurious back then and being judicious about groceries was the only way to keep the family of five well fed and nourished. Money doesn't define us as human beings only compassion will, she used to say. Whenever I make this Lemon Rice at home, I think of her immense love and exuberance. When I am 60 years old, even if I manage to imbibe half of her qualities, I would feel really accomplished in life!

[VeganMoFo 2014] Zero Oil Zucchini Curry Recipe

I wriggle my nose whenever I hear the word 'Zero Oil' for a recipe, probably because of my many previously failed kitchen experiments. An Indian curry dish without oil (or any kind of fat) seemed incomprehensible until I tried today's version by my fellow blogging pal, published in GoodFood India (August 2013). I was meaning to try it since last year and the opportunity finally arrived last week. The freshly ground spice powder forms a lovely curry base and compliment very well with a subtle vegetable like Zucchini. I am sure when substituted with any other firm veggie like potato or squash it will give out equally good results. If you'd like to a taste of good curry without any guilt of excess oil floating on the top, then there is no better recipe than this!. 

[VeganMoFo 2014] Garlic Tostones | Puerto Rican Twice Fried Plantains With Rice and Beans Recipe

I follow and read many inspiring food writers. Through them, I learn how to find the right words and express my feelings and various food experiences. One of them is Judith Jones and she once said - "One of great virtues of cooking for oneself, you have only yourself to please. If a dish isn't quite right, you'll eat it anyway and improve on it next time". But, what if the dish turns out so good that you are tempted to write almost immediately on the blog, share with others so that they can make some too!. For my Saturday lunch last week, I made some Garlic Tostones with rice & beans, ate alone, all by myself. It was just perfect, mopping the last bit of beans with a crispy fried plantain tostone. From the moment I bookmarked it and to the point I ate the first bite, I was fascinated and eager to try the combination. These little munchies were all that it promised - simple-to-make-crispy-pleasure-bombs. Ok, I will STOP right here. :-) Read on and get the recipe. 

[VeganMoFo 2014] K for Korivi Karam | Ripe Red Chilli Pickle | Andhra Recipes

It has been exactly 2 months that I posted a recipe for my ambitious A to Z Andhra Recipe blogging. It is not that I forgot about the challenge, but it is just that life has got in the way and have been making, posting recipes made with ingredients bought on a whim or with those that are readily available in my pantry. I have not set myself any particular deadline for A to Z blogging, but am determined to finish it at some point of time. Today's recipe is for the letter K. Red Chilli pickle made with fresh, ripe chillies or Korivi Karam as we call it in Telugu is a quintessential condiment that you would always always find in our fridge or on our dinner table. It very easy to make and serves as a perfect side when we are in need of a dash of spice in everyday dal rice or curd rice. A household favorite that we tend to go overboard sometimes and end up drinking buckets of buttermilk to cool the heat off. :-)  

[VeganMoFo 2014 | Easy Snack Recipes] Cabbage and Onion Vada/Vadai Fritters

I love featuring those Indian food recipes that are easy to whip up and remind me of home every time I make them. All my childhood, breakfast on every Sunday was either Mysore Bonda or some kind of Vada, served with a chutney or sambar. When memories are attached to food we eat, they taste even better. Isn't it? Today's version of vada has cabbage and onion that are dunked in ground urad dal. Just remember soaking the dal an hour before and there you have it - crispy and crunchy fritters ready to be chowed down in minutes! 

Cabbage and Onion Vada Vadai Fritters

[VeganMoFo 2014 Recipe] Crispy Hedgehog Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs

There are few recipes that you know will be loved so much that you got to make them again and again! It's just that instinct I guess or the sheer simplicity. Today's dish Crispy Hedgehog Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs fits perfectly into such a category. Very similar to hassleback potatoes, this is one other fun way to roast potatoes. It hardly takes any effort for preparation and doesn't need much attention as most of the cooking is done in the oven. If you are short on time and need a quick appetizer for your next house or potluck party, look no further. Hedgehogging spuds is the way to go!

Crispy Hedgehog Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs

[VeganMoFo 2014 Recipe] Moongachi Bhaaji | Whole Green Gram and Potato Curry with Koli Masala

Sometimes it makes me sad, how our Indian cuisine is stereotyped for a handful of popular curries. There is a world of truly unique and diverse food culture spanning across the country that each one of us should make an attempt to atleast know and if possible, learn. Today's post is about a quick and scrumptious curry made with whole green gram, potato and spiced with a unique spice blend of 18 spices called Koli Masala. It was initially a gift to Lataji from Anjali, the maker of the spice mix. I was quite chuffed when Lataji generously shared some with me during our stay together at IFBM. Since then I have been meaning to make a recipe, to try the spice mix.  Isn't VeganMoFo a perfect platform to talk and feature some lesser known cuisines & traditions? - To let the world know how distinct and extraordinary our Indian cuisine is! 

My blog turns 7 years old! | No Grind Gongura Pachadi | Chutney with Sorrel Leaves Recipe for [VeganMoFo 2014]

It's that time of the year again when we celebrate a blog anniversary and some serious Vegan food. Oh yes, this blog turned SEVEN years and also it's time for VeganMoFo 2014. Woohoo! Last year, a few days into the game, things on the personal front got awry and I had to abandon the challenge mid way. This year, am determined to see it through the end. The goal is simple: to cook and publish a vegan recipe every single weekday of September 2014. I did the math and that will come up to 21 new recipes. :-) Wish me luck folks and here I am with the first recipe for the vegan challenge - an easy-peasy No Grind Gongura Pachadi i.e Chutney with Sorrel Leaves, a favorite in my household and devoured every single time my mother makes it. 

[Recipe Redux] Quick Bread Tartlets with Spinach, Egg and Sun Dried Tomato Filling

It’s 22nd of the month again and that means, it is time for another edition of Recipe Redux and time to share a new recipe that fits the theme. Don't these bread tartlets look super cute? It doesn't take much time to make. Go on, bring out those day old bread slices and jazz them into such pretty savory bites. The variations for filling are countless and it just depends on the ingredients available plus your imagination.  

Guava Lemonade for Sparkling Himalayan Contest (IFBM 2014)

If you are in a mood for a perfectly balanced mocktail, then look no further. Today's recipe - Guava Lemonade is exactly that and much more. There is sweetness from guava puree, citrus notes from lemon juice, a hint of spice from hajmola powder and mint for a fresh herby feel. The Sparkling Himalayan binds everything together into a drink that will make you sink a little deeper into your seats with a sigh of refreshing contentment. :-) Try it and let me know how it turned out to be. 

Look, I was at IFBM (Indian Food Blogger Meet) | August 2014

It has been almost a week since #IFBM2014 happened. I am still feeling the joy & warmth that fills you up inside after meeting a bunch of talented bloggers, who inspired me over the past many years. Their blogs were the faces I knew until yesterday. Now, I can proudly call them my friends!. Blogging will never be the same for me again and this event is hands-down the BEST thing that took place in my seven years of blogging. This post is my attempt to chronicle and put words to my experience at IFBM. I know for sure that when I look back at these photographs couple of years down the line, I will still smile with glee and cherish all of its memories!.  

The Bengali Food Festival at Trident, Hyderabad

Many of my friends ask: Why do you write about food? My answer to them is simple - I cook or I blog about food as eating has always been my most reliable way of understanding the world!. Reveling in a delightful morsel of rice or well made bread gives me immense happiness and it restores a sense of familiarity. And I truly love that feeling.  Today's post is about my experience tasting a myriad of dishes made as a part of tasting event for Bengali Food Festival at Trident, Hyderabad. This is my first time experiencing the cuisine in such close quarters. Being a vegetarian, read on to know more on what I got to taste from a land popular for Maach (fish) and Bhaat (rice)!

Happy Hour Recipe Redux | Curry Leaves Mojito

Do we need a particular season (read as summer) to enjoy a good cocktail? Of course not! Today's recipe - Curry Leaves Mojito is one such tastefully created drink recipe with an Indian twist and which will surely become a showstopper of your next party. It is time to showoff your uber trendy and impressive cocktail making skills with much flair and gusto. Read more to know how..

Plum Crisp with Dried Raisins for KitchenAid Contest (IFBM 2014) | Step by Step Recipe

[Updated on 3rd July 2014] This recipe has won the KitchenAid India contest at Indian Food Blogger Meet held at Bangalore. It was an absolute pleasure to be appreciated on such an amazing platform and it gives me that much needed boost to cook, learn and write more. Thank You!.

Let's talk today about an easy dessert recipe using plums. Remember this Homemade Fruit at Bottoms I posted sometime last year? Well, I thought there was no better way to enjoy this tart fruit other than with yogurt. It is like match made in heaven: stewed plums + cold yogurt. Today's recipe proved me completely wrong and am so glad it did. :-) Read on to get the recipe for Plum Crisp with Dried Raisins

Yes, that's me. Quietly sitting in our balcony, watching the rain and digging into the hot jar of plum crisp.

The Parsi Food Festival at Taj Krishna, Hyderabad

What better way to celebrate the onset of monsoons than devouring on some good Parsi food? Only once before did I taste this cuisine even though I read and heard a lot about it through various blogs, magazines and from close friends. Most of the Parsi dishes are known for their unique balance of sweetness and acidity. It is this sensuous play of flavor elements that makes this cuisine truly irresistible. So, when I got an invite to be a part of a Parsi Food Festival currently happening at Firdaus (Taj Krishna), I jumped on the opportunity like a hungry cat. :-) Was the experience worth it? Read on to know more...

J for Jeedipappu Pakodi Recipe | Cashew Nut Fritters | Kaju Pakoda | Andhra Recipes

Today's recipe is for the letter J, picking up from where I left off for my A to Z Andhra Recipe blogging. Cashew Nut Fritters (or Jeedipappu Pakodi as we say it in Telugu) is an highly addictive, easy vegan snack that can be made in a matter of minutes. Every evening, almost every roadside shop (especially the ones beside booze shops!!) fry up a big batch of munchies like these. Though high in calorie and cost, when eaten in moderation there is nothing as delightful as a crispy cashew pakoda with a cuppa of hot chai.  :-)

[Meatless Monday] One Pot Sambar Rice | Sambar Sadam | One Pot Mixed Vegetable-Dal-Rice + IFBM 2014

Learn how to make sambar rice in one pot i.e pressure cooker. One dish to clean, one plate to serve and a bunch of chips with a bowl of yogurt is all that is needed to make it a full lunch or dinner meal. On busy (read as lazy) weeknights, such recipe ideas help us fill our tummies easily and quickly. To save time, I tend to chop veggies like - okra, green beans, tomato, bottle gourd, drumstick and refrigerate in air tight boxes.

{Easy Indian Breakfast Recipes} Light and Fluffy Sponge Dosa | Step by Step Recipe

Learn how to make the softest dosas ever! A typical dosa is a traditional favorite in every South Indian kitchen. Today's recipe, aptly named as Sponge Dosa has been made many many times in ours is a new family favorite. Give it a try and you will enjoy it immensely. :-)

I for Iguru | Vanakaya Kodi Guddu Iguru | Eggplant and Egg Curry | Andhra Recipes

Learn how to make a combination which is as appetizing as it sounds - eggplant and egg curry. Have you ever tried that? Served with hot steaming rice and ghee this recipe is sure to please all, especially egg lovers like me. With minimal ingredients, this perfect weeknight dish can be made from start to finish in less than half an hour!

[Recipe Redux | Cooking With Tea] Green Tea Broth with Rice Noodles and Vegetables Recipe

"Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? I am glad I was not born before tea.”
 ~ Sir Philip Sidney

Learn how to make a soothing broth with green tea, noodles and vegetables. The opening quote by Sir Philip Sidney should give you guys an idea on how crazy I am about my daily cuppa of tea. It is a therapeutic morning ritual of sorts with specific steps & amounts and I never tend to steer away from them!  :-) The benefits of tea are many and I have used it in almost all forms like in smoothiesmade a cool iced version of it to beat the scorching summer heatphotographed a cup umpteen number of times and even read books on it. If you are looking for one energizing and invigorating chai, then check out this recipe. You will love it. 

[Meatless Monday] H for Hara Bhara Kebabs (Spinach Patties) | H for Happy! + a chance to win one of three copies of "Rainbows in the Desert and Other Stories" book

Learn how to make an easy vegan appetizer recipe that is sure to please your friends and family. 'Hara Bhara' literally translates to 'All things Green'. Though traditionally it is spinach that is used for this recipe, feel free to replace with any firm greens on hand. Taste will slightly vary and I recommend blanching them lightly before using in the patty mixture. As an accompaniment, try this killer no-cook coriander chutney (from BongMom's cookbook ). :-)

Amma's Recipes | G for Gavvalu | Andhra Style Sweet Shells

Amma's recipes is one such column on this blog, which is very close to my heart. These are the recipes which my mother perfected over many many years and reflects how awesome a cook she is. It is also fun to just photograph once in a while, without thinking about what and how to make a recipe, worrying whether it would turn out well or not. She Cooks, I Photograph. That is the deal. :-) If you guys have any questions, do drop in a line or comment. My mom will be more than happy to answer all of them.

A few my favorite keeper recipes from Amma's collection - [Summer Special] Instant Dosavakaya (Dosa Avakai) and Instant Mango Pickle | Eggplants stuffed with a Spice paste | Nagori Poori with Paneer Korma | Amma's 15 minute Tomato Rasam (Soup)

[Photography] Bread Baking Workshop | Escapades Culinary Studio | Hyderabad

Of all the countless reasons why I absolutely love food blogging, one good reason is that it gives me an opportunity to meet & greet people whose work is their passion, who strive day & night to share their love for food and spread the joy around with their earnestness and enthusiasm. Couple of days ago, I was back at Escapades Culinary Studio yet again to shoot Arundati's Bread Baking Class. I had super fun photographing her Christmas Baking Workshop last December and this one was no less lively and jolly. I met a bunch of gorgeous ladies and made a few friends by the end of the day.

Scroll along to view more photographs about what happened during the workshop, the bread we baked and for few other candid shots. There is also short clip at the end of the post where the participants are rolling the bread with such gusto. :-)

If you are in Hyderabad, don't forget to check out the list of upcoming workshops for May. Signup today and be guaranteed to learn tons of recipes which are sure to impress your friends, family and yourself!

A sweet welcoming message. You guys ready for some fresh bread?

F for Feni (Pheni) Besan Laddu (Shredded Vermicelli Chickpea Flour Ladoo) + 2-minute Feni Payasam Recipe

Learn how to make two super simple dessert recipes with an ingredient called Feni (or Pheni/Sevai) available pretty much in every other shop in Hyderabad's Charminar area. It looks like thin vermicelli usually roasted/fried in ghee. One dish is a scrumptious laddu recipe made with chickpea flour, coarsely ground feni and sugar; Another is a payasam or kheer dish that can be put together in literally 2 minutes. :-) 

F for Feni (Pheni) Besan Laddu and Feni Payasam

E for Erra Karam Dosa Recipe | Andhra (Rayalaseema) Style Dosas with Red Chilli Chutney

Learn how to make a dosa recipe topped with one of the simplest yet delicious red chilli chutney and lentil powder. Coming from a Telugu speaking family, I was saddened and surprised for the fact that I never tasted this type of dosa until I made especially for this A to Z Blogging series. If you are bored of the usual everyday sada dosas, you will be thrilled by these and make them at least once a week, like us.

D for Dibba Rotti | Minapa Roti | Andhra Style Crispy Uttappam Recipe

Learn how to make Andhra style crispy rotti or 'dibba (fat) rotti' as we call in Telugu. It is one of the beloved breakfast recipes and I remember devouring it as a kid. It is so filling that with just two mini rottis (or one big one), you will not feel hungry until many many hours. 

C for Charu Podi | Andhra Style Rasam Powder | Andhra Recipes

Learn how to make rasam (charu) powder at home with few easily available ingredients. There are many versions of it in South Indian cuisine and the proportions & its taste vary by household. Today's recipe is just like my mother makes and also included at the end is her famous 15 minute rasam recipe

How to make Andhra Style Charu Podi (Rasam Powder) recipe

The Jeelani Diaries at Vivanta by Taj, Begumpet

My earliest food memory is a time when I dreamt day and night of the luxurious food served in the expansive Hyderabadi Nizami kitchens in their good old days. I was just then finished reading a book on Hyderabad + its rich heritage & history and as a foodie by heart, I was most fascinated about their grand feasts, flair for food and intricately prepared dishes with such complex flavors. The cuisine by itself is meat-centric with various kinds of rustic haleems and kheemas with their khansamas (royal cooks) treated with high regard, often accompanying the Nizams themselves to far away places. Lest you think why so much talk about Nizami food today, let me tell you that today's post is about an exquisite event "The Jeelani Diaries" I attended at Vivanta by Taj, Begumpet and the end of the post has details on how you can experience the same while you are in the city. 

B for Bangaladumpa Pulusu | Potatoes and Tamarind Stew | Andhra Recipes

Learn how to make an easy and zingy stew very commonly made in Andhra kitchens. I added potato for today's recipe but this is such a forgiving recipe that almost anything can be added to increase the flavor quotient. Best part --> it's vegan!

A for Aratikaya Ava Pettina Kura | Raw Banana (Plantain) Curry in Mustard Paste | Andhra Recipes

Learn how to make a simple and easy dry curry recipe popularly made in many coastal Andhra households. It is a process where we cook any vegetable in a mustard paste which add an extra zingy flavor. Eons ago, I wrote about a version which uses cabbage and to this date it is one of the most popular of all curry recipes published on the blog. Many mustard lovers out there. Eh?

[Ugadi Special Recipe] Beetroot Moong Dal Payasam (Kheer) | Pesarapappu (Pasi Paruppu) Payasam

Learn how to make one of the easiest desserts ever - moong dal payasam with grated beetroot. It tastes great when served both as hot or cold. Depending on the season and mood, choose your version.The beetroot juice does add a nice, vibrant color and texture to the usual combination of dal, jaggery and fried nuts/raisins.

[Meatless Monday] Creamy Sun Dried Tomato and Spinach Macaroni 'n' Cheese | Step by Step Recipe

Learn the perfect way to make mac n cheese recipe. It is go-ey. It is creamy. It is as easy as whipping up any other pasta dish. Today's version is loaded with good stuff like spinach and has got nice tangyness from chopped sun dried tomatoes. Add anything from roasted veggies to thai curry paste as flavoring and trust me, you have got THE best comfort food ever known to mankind! :-)

Instant Healthy Mung Sprouts Dhokla | Steamed Savory Chickpea Indian Cake Recipe

Learn how to make a dhokla with mung bean sprouts, a popular snack from the state of Gujarat. Filled with protein goodness and familiar flavors, this vegan dish serves as a perfect snack or a brunch item. Want more ideas for snacks/appetizers? Browse few more here.

[Meatless Monday] Chai Patte Waali Lobhia (Easy Tea and Ginger Simmered Black-Eyed Peas) Step by Step Recipe

Learn how to make a quick black eyed peas recipe adapted from Raghavan Iyer's very popular book - 660 Curries. I have earlier made Makhani Dal (Whole Black lentils with Ginger, Garlic and Butter) from his book with splendid results and is to this date my favorite way to eat whole lentils. Both the recipes have one thing in common - simplicity with ton of flavor. On busy weeknights, pre-made rotis with easy side dishes like these are a real saving grace.

Easy Tea and Ginger Simmered Black-Eyed Peas

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